After last week’s Reichsbürger raid, extremism experts warn of other radical groups with plans to overthrow.

After the Reichsbürger raid, extremism experts warn against other radical groups. “There are other similar terrorist cells out there,” says Andrea Röpke in an interview with “Stern”. “Those arrested represent a very small fraction of the radical Reich Citizens’ scene.” The journalist and author has been observing the right-wing extremist scene for decades.

In the past, the citizens of the Reich were concerned with defending their lands, says Röpke. Today they would attract sympathizers via countless telegram channels with thoughts of overthrow. “Now it’s about attack.” Under the eyes of the authorities, the Reich citizen scene has “been incredibly radicalized” since the beginning of the corona pandemic. This is largely due to networking with the lateral thinker scene.

The citizens of the Reich no longer felt like lone fighters. “It seems to have led to a feeling of empowerment,” says Röpke. Networking with lateral thinkers and the AfD created a “huge, radical network”.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior currently estimates the number of Reich citizens in Germany at around 23,000. Andreas Speit, journalist and renowned right-wing extremism expert, suspects in the “Stern” interview that there is a dark field – because the citizens of the Reich are classified as dangerous today, many would no longer identify themselves. According to the expert, the structure of the scene has also changed. “Up to now, in the classic Reich bourgeois milieu, we have mainly had older men. With the opening to the lateral thinker movement, there are more and more women. The average age is falling.”